Myths and Facts About Hangover Relief


With New Year's Eve being less than 24 hours away, it's hard to believe that 2020 is finally nearing its end. As we continue on towards 2021, it is best to have a plan of attack for the ensuing New Year's Day hangover that many of us will be nursing once we awaken and rise from the dead. The following information, provided by the folks at, offers the best-and the worst-advice for tackling your hangover ills.


MYTHS How NOT To Treat a Hangover:

  • Hair of the Dog Drinking more alcohol when you have a hangover, only works temporarily by raising your BAC (blood alcohol concentration). A hangover will return once BAC begins to drop.
  • Simple Sugars 1 g/k of glucose or fructose taken after intoxication produced no change in hangover symptoms in a clinical study.
  • Activated Charcoal BAC was the same in test subjects after a few drinks whether or not activated charcoal was taken.
  • Lots of Coffee Alcohol and caffeine are both diuretics, so lots of coffee just leads to more dehydration, which will make a hangover worse.
  • Herbal Hangover Pills In a study of hangover pills with yeast, borage, artichoke, and/or prickly pear extract, no significant hangover benefits were found.
  • Fish Oil Fish oil can decrease inflammatory prostaglandins, the same chemicals implicated in hangover headaches, but it doesn’t work overnight. It takes WEEKS to be effective.

FACTS: How You SHOULD Treat a Hangover Know that a “hangover is a bunch of symptoms, not just one," so treat the right thing.

  • Headache? Say Yes to Ibuprofen. Taking it before drinking prevents your body from releasing pain inducing chemicals. Its effectiveness peaks in 4 hours. A small cup of coffee can also make the ibuprofen even more effective. Say No Acetaminophen! When your liver metabolizes alcohol and acetaminophen at the same time, the liver shuttles acetaminophen differently and this can lead to liver damage.
  • Stomach Upset? Take an antihistamine before drinking to block alcohol’s pro-inflammatory effects on your gastrointestinal lining and prevent upset stomach. Antacids: Sodium bicarbonate in many antacids, neutralizes gastric acid. Ginger tea or pills: Ginger can lessen nausea and vomiting. Eggs and asparagus: They increase your body’s levels of glutathione and alcohol dehydrogenase. Both of these molecules are necessary for breaking down alcohol.
  • Get Your Nutrients! Drink water: One glass between each beverage. Drink electrolyte-rich fluids: Coconut water or sports drinks can help prevent muscle aches, nerve dysfunction, and nausea. Complex carbs: Bread, beans, or oatmeal can help compensate for low blood sugar levels. Take vitamins!

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